Taunton Centre Welcomes Outstanding Ofsted

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Taunton Centre Welcomes Outstanding Ofsted

Posted: 03/07/2008 23:47:46

Pupils, staff, governors and parents at the Taunton Centre Pupil Referral Unit are celebrating after receiving a positive ‘outstanding’ report from Ofsted.

The award recognises the hard work of everyone involved with centre at the Somerset College of Arts and Technology, and comes following a recent inspection which looked in detail at all aspects of teaching and school life.

The Taunton centre was established seven years ago as a unique partnership between the college and Somerset County Council’s Children and Young Persons Directorate. It is one of 14 Pupil Referral Units in Somerset, set up to support young people who are unable to attend mainstream schools. This may be due to a range of issues from ill health to exclusion, and the emphasis is on enabling the young people to return to mainstream schools.

All five areas inspected (effectiveness, achievement, personal development, quality and leadership) were rated ‘outstanding’, as were 22 of the 26 more detailed judgments.

Ofsted inspectors describe the success of the unit as “breathtaking”, judging it to be “outstandingly effective in transforming the lives of its students.” The report says the “excellent provision brings about extraordinary academic and personal achievement with students, all of whom have experienced calamitous setbacks in their previous education.”

Jim Castle, Headteacher of the Taunton Centre, said: “An Outstanding Ofsted is extremely rare for a Pupil Referral Unit dealing with behaviour issues and our students and staff in the centre and the college thoroughly deserve this report. This has only been possible by a forward thinking County Council working in partnership with such good schools and an exceptionally inclusive college.”

County Councillor Claire Gordon, Chair of the Centre’s Management Committee, said: “This is a thoroughly deserved recognition of the enormous achievement of the Centre’s students, supported by their families, and the truly exceptional work carried out by the Centre and College staff who work with them every day.”

Councillor Gloria Cawood, Somerset County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education, said: “Everyone at the Taunton Centre can celebrate this success as reward for their hard work and commitment. Somerset County Council is committed to providing excellent education to all the county’s young people, and supporting those vulnerable young people who, for many varied reasons, are unable to attend mainstream schools, is an important part of that responsibility.”

David Harvey, Head of Student Entitlement at Somerset College of Arts and Technology, said: “This shows what students who might otherwise have been written off can achieve given a genuinely inclusive service”.

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